Agencies working on government campaigns are to face tighter budgets and
more rigorous performance checks as Whitehall steps up its value-for-
The plans were revealed by Mike Devereau, who departs this month after
seven years as chief executive of the Central Office of Information. He
said there would be more ‘measurement’ of campaigns to ensure their
target audience had been met.
Computer-based analysis of previous campaigns will soon enable the COI
to forecast the budgets needed for future work more accurately.
While Devereau did not rule out payment-by-results as a long-term
option, he insisted that was not the immediate aim. ‘What we are seeking
is a database to enable us to make the best-informed decisions,’ he
said. ‘I don’t see it as a great burden on the industry - it should help
agencies. It is something they can benefit from; I am surprised there is
not more of it in the industry.’
He acknowledged that the Government’s pressures on agencies had
increased in recent years and that there was a danger that the quality
of campaigns would suffer. ‘If you pay too little, you end up paying
again in lack of effectiveness,’ he said.
Devereau, 58, will be remembered by the COI’s 400 staff as the boss who
helped it survive Government reviews, although in a slimline form. ‘The
important thing is that COI has a future,’ he said.